It makes perfect sense that the internal Logicalis IT team turns to Logicalis Managed Services to provision key IT services to employees. After all, Logicalis Managed Services delivers the same value internally as it does to external clients—taking care of day-to-day IT tasks and end-user support so client IT teams can focus on strategic initiatives that drive revenue, improve business process efficiencies, and lower operational costs.
But by taking a closer look, the relationship also benefits Logicalis clients—Logicalis corporate serves as a perfect testing ground for Logicalis Managed Services.
“We can try out the latest Managed Services technologies and best practices right here in-house in a production environment,” says Kevin Clark, Director of Cloud & Managed Solutions for Logicalis. “Once we determine what works well for our own business units and learn the pitfalls to avoid, we can then hone the Managed Services offerings we deliver to our external clients.”
Specific Managed Services that Logicalis taps into include Service Desk and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS):
Outsourced Service Desk Helps Optimize Internal IT Resources
For Terry Strohecker, the Director of Infrastructure & Compliance at Logicalis, tapping into these services and the expertise of the Logicalis Managed Services team are paying huge dividends for his internal IT team. “The Logicalis Managed Services team has deep and specific expertise in providing IT support,” says Strohecker. “Where internal IT teams typically cover a wide range of strategical and tactical IT functions, they are not able to hone their skills in specific areas such as service desk and disaster recovery.”
Because Logicalis Managed Services features service desk experts that are available 24/7, Logicalis end users can access immediate Level I help any time of day and any day of the week. “Because they combine their experience with tested scripts and best-practices, they quickly identify and resolve nearly 75% of our end-user issues,” Strohecker reveals. “For those that they need to escalate to our internal team, which usually involve issues at the network level, they collect all the necessary information so that we know exactly how to attack the problem.”
Strohecker points out that because of the Logicalis Service Desk, his internal IT team—consisting primarily of Level II and Level III IT support professionals—doesn’t need to deal with Level I support, where the majority of end-user issues can be resolved. Strohecker can thus free up the team to focus on other more value-add tasks and initiatives.
“That’s where the big pay-off comes from,” Strohecker emphasizes out. “By outsourcing our service desk function, we can reallocate and better optimize our internal IT resources rather than having them fight end-user fires. In that sense, our delivery of IT services has gone through a major evolution.”
Disaster Recovery in the Cloud Brings Business Resiliency to a Whole New Level
Logicalis also went through an evolution when transitioning to the DRaaS model in the cloud as opposed to its previous approach—SAN-to-SAN replication between data centers in the same state. By migrating to the DRaaS offering provisioned by Logicalis Managed Services, Logicalis corporate was able to shut down the secondary data center and move the hardware to other IT environments. And by using a cloud infrastructure for disaster recovery, the primary Logicalis data center is now backed up to a data center in a different time zone to ensure business resiliency and protect against a widespread disaster in a particular region of the US.
“As is the case with the service desk, rather than focusing our internal resources on disaster recovery, we would rather focus on value-add tasks,” Strohecker says. “It takes specific knowledge to do disaster recovery right, and by outsourcing, we also save on the hardware and software costs of a second physical data center infrastructure as well as the cost of utilities and a data center staff.”
Logicalis pays a monthly fee for DRaaS that’s based the required compute resources, and Logicalis Managed Services makes sure backups run smoothly by testing restores every 90 days. “We can run a restore test during normal business hours,” Strohecker point out. “The restore stands up and compartmentalizes our environment so we can tap into it remotely to make sure it’s working. The disaster recovery environment is then taken down without any impact on our production environment.”
A Live Production Environment to Test Technologies Before Rolling Out to Clients
Dane Duncan, the Logicalis Service Delivery Manager who oversees the DRaaS offering for Logicalis corporate and external clients, appreciates that his team can use the Logicalis environment to test backup and restore technologies and new disaster recovery best practices. “New technologies typically need to be broken in so that we can iron out the bumps,” Duncan points out. “Having the opportunity to do this on our own corporate network gives us the chance to make sure everything works as advertised before rolling them out to our clients.”
As an example, the Logicalis environment relies heavily virtual machines, so Duncan and his team actively test new virtual machine failover solutions. “The solutions are improving all the time—the latest make it possible to failover hundreds of virtual machines within an hour,” Duncan says. “But we want to make sure we understand exactly how these technologies work and how they need to be configured so that our clients don’t have to experience the frustration of being on the leading edge. We can do this right here in-house on a true production network.”
Bob Chapp, a Senior Director who oversees the Logicalis Service Desk offering, takes a similar approach as Duncan.
“Working with Logicalis corporate gives us a sense of the value of integrating with a client’s internal IT team so that we feel like we are part of their team,” Chapp says. “This gives us a collaboration model to emulate in working with our external clients as well.”
As Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 10 became available, the Logicalis Service Desk team leveraged its relationship with Logicalis corporate to ramp up on the new solutions and prepare for clients who were ready to make the jump. “Both solutions present new working environments for end users, so it was important that we got to know what end users would experience,” Chapp says. “Functioning as end users on the Logicalis network and providing support to internal users allowed us iron out all the bugs and devise the proper methods for providing support beforehand so that we could be ready for our clients.”
A Partnership That Enables IT to Positively Impact Company Success
In assessing the ultimate pay-off of the partnership with Logicalis Managed Services, Strohecker says, “We can rest assured our end users always receive timely and expert technical support and our entire IT environment is properly protected at all times should we ever experience a disaster. At the same time, our internal IT team can focus on researching, designing and deploying technology solutions that enable our end users to function more effectively. Taking this approach to IT better enables our internal team to make a positive impact on the success of our company.”